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Everything posted by Twickenham

  1. https://app.euplf.eu/#/ Looks like it's a Covid-era thing specific to Malta, Italy and Slovenia.
  2. First, let's untangle the web of codeshares on display here. Anytime you see a flight with a note 'operated by X airline', you will be flying on that airline's plane, regardless of who sold you the ticket. Airlines within a same alliance often sell codeshare tickets on each other's flights. And in fact, there's a good chance the American Airlines' flights you're seeing are actually on British Airways (I checked flights on a random day next month, and both AA flights listed were operated by BA). So, in fact, you're most likely looking at 2 flights: BA and United. In terms of comfort, if you're flying economy, most major airlines are much the same. If you're flying business class, then you can start to differentiate.
  3. From the OP's posting history, she appears to be booked on HAL's North Pacific Crossing, departing on April 25. I agree with those that say your 500 euro price really isn't that bad. However you can get that price lower if you want to take a 1-stop itinerary. The cheapest I'm seeing is on LOT, BCN-NRT, at 330 euros - the bad news is you have a 23-hour layover in Warsaw, which in ordinary times I personally would jump at but in Covid times might complicate matters too much. The next cheapest 1-stop itinerary is with Qatar, at 392 euros from BCN or 432 euros from MAD, with more reasonable layovers in the 2:20-2:30 hr range. If you want to fly to HND, Cathay Pacific and Turkish will get you there for around 475 euros.
  4. It's Air Canada, on a 787 Dreamliner, which is the only good point about that option IMHO.
  5. Nope. I know it's domestic (so no immigration). I know it's a non-stop flight. And I know that Vancouver hotels are crazy expensive (I've been pricing them out myself for a possible trip around your dates). It's still a big risk, even in normal times. Add to that covid-era issues, and that increases the possibility of delays even more. And then you have to think about your recovery options: if your cruise is round-trip Vancouver, you could theoretically fly to the first port of call and embark there, but if it's one-way to Seward, you couldn't due to the PVSA. And I haven't even touched on the time-zone change... Take that flight... the day before.
  6. From searching flights between YVR and YYZ next June, it looks like option 1 would be on a 787 Dreamliner, while the other 2 are on A321s. Which makes the first option a lot more attractive, especially if you're splurging for business class as that's the only flight with lie-flat seats in biz.
  7. Google Maps is your friend: https://goo.gl/maps/Pjjg4bKJ5mDNHzvD9 Start with the Winchester map, then search for various locations listed and note which ones are closest. You can then perhaps contact your accommodation and ask which location would be the easiest to get to.
  8. Was there just before the pandemic (January 2020). It's quite nice, but I preferred the old one. The new lounge is open to the terminal (above the shops et al), whereas the old lounge was its own private enclave, totally separate from the rest of the terminal.
  9. We spent a month in London that summer (mid-July to mid-August), and for air miles-related reasons, we planned to fly on Turkish Airlines via their YUL-IST flight. This flight operates 3 days a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and the initial plan was to fly YQB-YUL-IST-LHR on Friday. Couldn't manage to get tickets to LHR, but in searching other possible gateways found we could fly to Barcelona, so decided to take the Tuesday flight, arriving in BCN on Wednesday, stay a few nights, then trains to Paris and finally London (I'm a train freak, so this was a plus for me :). Then the bombing at IST airport happened, exactly 2 weeks before we were due to fly. Went back and forth on whether we should change our flights, and even found a flight on Swiss via ZRH that we could have switched to, but after a lot of research and thought, decided to stick to our original flights. Our flights went without a hitch, including a very nice 4-hour layover at IST which we spent in the magnificent Turkish Airlines lounge (we had business class tickets). Lovely couple of days in Barcelona. Then woke up early for our train to Paris on Saturday to the news that there had been a coup in Turkey. Had we not taken the side-trip to Barcelona, we would have been on the Friday flight headed to IST while there was a coup ongoing... To get back on topic, think the STEP program is an excellent idea, and wondering if there is a Canadian equivalent, which I will avail myself if so on my next trip.
  10. I've flown in British Airways premium class (which is actually what you're looking at - note the "operated by" mention). It's very comfortable, but not even close to lie-flat.
  11. Well, if I were really trying to limit my use of public transport I'd be driving, but then being from North America a 10-hour drive isn't that big a deal to me. I would split it in 2 - stay somewhere south of Birmingham the night before and then drive down to Southampton from there the morning of the cruise. If you leave the driving option out of it, I think you're going to have to decide what combination of plane-train-bus you're comfortable with. Other than the already-mentioned LHR-bus option, you can also fly to Gatwick and take a train from there, or even Birmingham, which also offers direct train service to Southampton from the airport station. And of course you could do train all the way, although that option would probably have you go through London.
  12. Of course - depending on your plans - you could look at this the other way: find a London hotel convenient to the train to LHR terminal 5. Indeed, the Hilton Paddington is so convenient for the Heathrow Express (it is literally part of the train station) that I have long considered it a de facto airport hotel.
  13. Indeed, you need to take the train from FCO to Termini in order to catch the Frecciarossa to Florence - and that's where I think you need to allow for a little more time than you might think. Termini is massive, and the walk from platforms can be quite long.
  14. Those flights from Asia likely have a high amount of cargo on board. Mexico/Caribbean flights are almost exclusively for discretionary leisure travel. That's the difference.
  15. You can't compare pre-Covid business class service and current pandemic-era practices. Pre-covid, business class had much better food service than economy. These days, everything is whacko.
  16. The easiest thing would be to spend the night in London, which is basically between Dover and LHR anyways. Take the train (or bus or private transport) into London, get yourself to a hotel convenient to Paddington Station (there's a Hilton within the station itself), do a little sightseeing that day, then hop on the Heathrow Express the next morning to get yourself to LHR for your flight.
  17. Amending this post as this morning, AC has announced their plans for the new Aeroplan, coming in November. Surcharges eliminated for AC flights, but redemption rates (predictably) going up. Lots of details still being sorted out on the blogs and Flyertalk...
  18. Low surcharges only for certain Star Alliance airlines - notably, Turkish, Swiss, TAP, United, SAS, Eva, Singapore off the top of my head (and low-ish on LOT). Expect high surcharges on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Austrian, ANA and Thai. And availability can be difficult to search for, as the Aeroplan website is well-known for being, er, challenging. If you do want to transfer from another program, look for their fairly regular (a couple of times a year usually) transfer bonus periods. Usually 30% extra in Aeroplan miles, but I have seen as high as 35%.
  19. I totally agree with you on this point. I am also quite certain that the major cruise companies have each conducted such a feasibility study, and that their inaction with regard to changing the PVSA is a clear indication of what these studies concluded. If it was economically profitable for them to change the law, they would be working to do just that. The fact that it isn't even on their radar tells me that they have determined that it is not.
  20. Considering the vastly reduced number of flights currently being operated, it makes no sense to maintain operations at both LHR and LGW. And as LGW has always been the more leisure-centric airport, consolidating operations at LHR makes perfect sense. Everyone's in survival mode right now.
  21. https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm Airlines right now are bleeding money, and trying every trick in the book to keep cash in their coffers. While I do have a certain amount of sympathy for them, I have no patience with companies trying to weasel out of their legal responsibilities.
  22. If the flight originated in the EU, it absolutely is subject to EU 261.
  23. Can't comment on AF business class, as I've never flown them up front. However, regarding the transfer of points, I have heard anecdotal reports of people who have created Flying Blue accounts with the sole purpose of transferring points having their new accounts frozen. Seems it triggers some sort of fraud alert in their system. Therefore, if you don't already have a Flying Blue account, I would create one ASAP, and make sure that you have some sort of transactions on the account prior to transferring the points - establish an account history, if you will. Also, unless you can include it with your TA flight at the same number of points, I wouldn't fly down to Barcelona - take the train, much more pleasant and thus negates the necessity of staying at an airport hotel.
  24. Actually, I was reading this morning (https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/whos-still-flying-and-whos-not-a-definitive-list-with-live-updates.html) how airlines are significantly cutting the number of flights - it has it all broken down by percentage of flights cut, up to 90%. There was also a list of airlines that are completely grounded - lots of smaller airlines, but also some major ones like Austrian and LOT.
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